Twenty-four crossbred pigs were housed individually and allocated at 62 kg (S.E.M.=0.81) to one of three diets providing differing daily protein and energy intakes: control (C) 1.42 g CP/MJ DE, fed to provide 2.85 maintenance energy; low protein (LP) 0.76 g CP/MJ DE fed to provide the same daily energy intake as C; and low energy (LE) 2.06 g CP/MJ DE fed to provide 72% of the daily energy intake but the same daily CP intake as C. All diets were offered once daily. Over a 6-week period, with one week on pretreatment and 5 weeks on the experimental treatments, pigs were presented with a pair of tail models, one of which had been soaked in pig's blood and the other in distilled water, and their total chewing activity and preference for the blood-soaked tail model recorded. Growth rates of the LP and LE pigs were similar and below those of C (C=896 g/day, LP=626 g/day, LE=618 g/day; S.E.M.=30.3; P<0.001). Diet had a significant effect on the preference scores of the pigs only in week 6 (P<0.05). There was a significant effect of week on the chewing (P<0.01) and preference scores (P<0.001) of the pigs, but no consistent trend over time or treatment x time interaction. Regression of the pigs' preference scores in week 6 on their liveweight gains over the 5 weeks on the experimental diets was significant (P<0.01). These results suggest that sensitivity of model tail chewing behaviour to dietary modification may be lower than previously demonstrated. This could be because the methodology and age of pigs in this experiment differed from that reported previously.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Department of Agriculture, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, King George VI Building, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 7RU, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org|
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